Morning Reads For Monday October 1, 2012

Local Stuff
– Dueling charter amendment editorials in Sunday’s Gwinnett Daily Post: Jan Jones and Alisha Thomas Morgan say vote yes, Sean Murphy of Duluth says vote no.
Late Friday, Dr. Barge announced he was taking his anti-amendment stuff off the DoE website.
– The head of the Georgia PTA wants criminal charges filed against a charter amendment supporter.
– Good New York Times article on how Georgia is making changes in how it treats the mentally ill.
– Telegraph: 10 Events That Shaped Our Region.
– Occupy Savannah says they still exist. BTW, I streamed Occupy Unmasked on Amazon late last week.
– RIP: Historian Eugene Genovese

Georgia Election Stuff
– SD 30 special election candidates agree on a number of issues.
– Gene King challenges Carl Von Epps in HD132.
– A rematch between Rusty Kidd and Quentin Howell in HD145.

National/International Stuff
One million people in Ohio have “Obama phones.” The video everyone’s talking about.
Free colonoscopies! He loves Debbie Wasserman Schultz! Cheerleaders rock the hardwood! Where’s Dan Quayle’s apology?
– Administration finally admits  the murder of our Libyan Ambassador was a terrorist attack as questions mount over handling of the issue.
– Hugo Chavez faces a strong challenge in his reelection bid next week.
– People rallied around an unpopular teen elected Homecoming Queen as a joke.
– RCP polling average: Obama 48.7, Romney 44.6.
Rasmussen: 43% sure there will vote for Romney, 42% sure they will vote for Obama, 15% undecided or could change their mind.

Other Stuff
– The Braves honored Chipper Jones Friday night. Watch here.
– The Falcons remain undefeated after a last second field goal against Carolina.
– The weekend box office.


  1. John Konop says:


    Cherokee Charter in their board meetings pass out pro amendment information and go over strategies to promote and or beat the opposition, Does this violate anything? Do you think Charter schools should be using school board meetings for a strategy session on how to win on this admendment?

    • John,

      I think anyone who supports the amendment hates the children and should be rounded up and sent to an Agenda 21 reeducation camp. Clearly when the PTA stuffs anti-amendment literature in kids’ backpacks at their school its done to rescue the children for the clutches of the Gulen Movement.

      • John Konop says:


        You realize Jan Jones made the same No Child Left Behind point with this issue I did? Jan and I both agree the ” one size fit all approach” does not work. The difference between Jan and I from reading the op- Ed you posted is I think we need to fix the NCLB as well as add charter schools, with more fiscal accountability. Do you think Jan Jones and I are both crazy for pointing out that NCLB has been a major issue hurting schools?

        • Not at all. I too have many problems with NCLB.

          The one size fits all approach doesn’t work which it why we need to pass the amendment John. Perhaps after seeing many good charter schools in action local school boards are now more accepting and will continue to work with charter applicants if the amendment fails but I doubt it. I lost count of how many times my Superintendent has said “I support charter schools.” Then a few minutes later say “charter schools simply don’t work.”

          • John Konop says:

            FROM BUZZ:
            ……..Link the amendment to disgust of the General Assembly, Agenda 21, Common Core Educational Standards as a vehicle for Obama to take over our schools, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Math123, Public/Private Partnerships (PPP), the worldwide Gulen Movement or whatever else rocks your world. Have fun!…………

            Did you not post this on the PP? Beyond the fact you had my name associated with the post before you took it down please help me understand your point. How else would someone take the comment as to anyone referring to NCLB (math 123 was part of NCLB) with the amendment is a crack pot?

            FROM JAN JONES:

            ….We’ve tried the “one-size-fits-all” approach to education for decades, and we’ve had too many students fall through the cracks. …..

            Did I not say the above in the exact same context with this issue when you starting the crack pot attacks on me?

            • bowersville says:

              Clearly when the PTA stuffs anti-amendment literature in kids’ backpacks at their school its done to rescue the children for the clutches of the Gulen Movement.

              Add those parents that are interested enough in their child’s eduction to attend PTA meetings to the list of crackpots. At least you are in good company John Konop.

                • bowersville says:

                  Behind the scene’s Buzz must be getting bombarded by crack pots. I took his remarks as tongue in cheek with a dry sense of humor. I responded likewise

                • John Konop says:

                  You are right, this is one of my so called “crack pot” comments on this issue I posted on the PP. As I have said for years we need to focus on real solutions.

                  …..The key factor in success in a classroom is less on class size more on separating students by the correct aptitude from what I read. That is why the one size fit all approach has been such a failure.

                  The right and the left have this issue all screwed up. The truth is we have increased the rate of kids prepared for college at an amazing rate over the last 30 years. The problem is in my opinion, is with kids we are pushing into a 4 year college who would be better served at a tech school. And the kids who are being pushed out because they are in a 4 year prep or out curriculum.
                  I read an interesting study in the last 20 years we have increased amount of kids taking the SAT by 60 percent. Btw that is when SAT scores started falling. A bell curve on aptitude tells at best we could prepare is about 30 percent for 4 year college from what I read.

                  Ironically Jeb Bush runs around telling people how we are failing 66 percent of the kids. And if we just had charter schools, tutoring…..we could somehow change the bell curve. The bizarre part is we have close to 4 million vocational jobs for that 66 percent. The solution is simple, but both sides are looking in the wrong direction.

                  I will give credit to John Barge and many in the legislator trying to deal with this via new bills. But it needs to be coordinated better in our schools via waiving 4 year prep requirement. And this should be the major focus…….

            • bowersville says:

              ….We’ve tried the “one-size-fits-all” approach to education for decades, and we’ve had too many students fall through the cracks. …..

              Approaching and addressing one (Charter Schools) without approaching and addressing the other (NCLB, etc.) doesn’t solve the problem for those children left in public schools.

              • What about the NCLB waiver we obtained? Doesn’t that help us?

                It seems that you guys are saying we can’t pass the charter amendment because Congress won’t address NCLB.

                • bowersville says:

                  The waiver was good news to me. We have a Republican US House and a majority Of R Reps. to Congress from GA. Pressure from you guys would go along way to help repeal it.

                  I look at it like this. We are creating another level of government to circumvent a different layer of government without addressing the problem government created in the 1st place.

                  • Well, I disagree. We’re not creating a layer of government. We’re creating an appeals process to insure charter applicants are treated fairly. 32 other States have similar processes in place.

                    We had such a process in place and it was working well before the Supremes threw it out.

                    • bowersville says:

                      That’s what is so amazing about the USA. We can have dis-agreements and decide it at the ballot box.

                • John Konop says:

                  I have said this many diferent ways on this issue for a long time. What part of this do you not understand?

                  ………. You realize Jan Jones made the same No Child Left Behind point with this issue I did? Jan and I both agree the ” one size fit all approach” does not work. The difference between Jan and I from reading the op- Ed you posted is I think we need to fix the NCLB as well as add charter schools, with more fiscal accountability…….

                  What part of this do you disagree with?

                  ….The following are the protections I am asking for to support the amendment:

                  No board members should be able to be a consultant, owner and or work for vendors, charter management contracts…..Full disclosure if they had any prior affiliation. No board member should be able to be on the board if they revived any form compensation in the last 2 years from any material vendor.

                  Full disclosure of any office holder and or relatives with any affiliation with vendors providing services for the school.

                  No board member and or officeholder should have any interest in the property the school uses

                  Full disclosure of any officeholder relatives employed by the charter school

                  Board meeting should be listed 30 days in advance on a set day after 7 pm, not at 10 am on random days with short notice….

                  Any school, with more than 750 students with a private management company should be required to put up bonding to make sure that the school fulfills the school year

                  Full disclosure on ownership of property the school uses ie detailed list with names of the people with any affiliation to the school and or officeholders

                  If the property has any ownership affiliation with the private management company it should be put up as security to pay back the government for any free tax payer dollars ie grants and management fees or expenses against the district eats via placing the kids back into school via failure.

                  Full disclosure of the contract between the private management company and the charter school. Once again a list of any cross affiliations….

                  Is this really asking too much, for protecting tax payers ?

                • John Konop says:


                  I have made the same point on this issue for years. We need to let the requiremnts flow from a 4 year college, trade school, JC……..for students to either get a high school degree with real job skills and or the prep requirments for a 4 year insititution. Also we need to combine resources between higher education and high school from facilities, staff, adminastration…..

                  The above would lower the drop out rate, create work ready graduates for the 4 million job openings in the vocational field, prepare 4 year college bound students and save tax payer money.

            • John,

              I didn’t mean to be insulting to you. I did have your name in the initial post then re-read it and thought it might be insulting. I lumped all those things together because people seem to be finding every excuse to vote no and in my opinion have lost sight of the amendment will really do and how it will help the students.

              I disagree with you about the charter amendment because I think we have adequate protections for taxpayers in current law, current DOE rules, and in the enabling legislation. I don’t think you’re a nut, but some of the people who are opposing the charter amendment are doing so for nutty reasons.

              • John Konop says:

                Buzz we have been friends a long time now. I have supported you as an officeholder. As you know I never sent you an e-mail complianing about the post. I do not apreciate you incenutaing that I somehow have changed my position on this issue or are part of the public school establishment. I have been 100% consistent on this issue. We may disagree on this issue but you cannot sargue withe above. At the end of the day, I still will buy you a beer the next time I see you.

    • I was watching the Packers-Saints game yesterday. The crowd didn’t like a call and started booing the Refs. The announcer said “the honeymoon is over for the real refs.” Heh.

  2. Ed says:

    Judging from pictures of Saturday’s crowd three minutes before kickoff, GT is drawing about as many people to their games as GSU is.

  3. saltycracker says:

    The 73 bankrupt Georgia school systems reported in the Dalton paper seems to be a quiet subject.

      • saltycracker says:

        From responses to your post on Barge

        saltycracker September 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm
        Where are the 73 bankrupt school districts ? must have been missing some headlines

        Dalton Citizen
        September 28, 2012

        Board: 73 Georgia schools bankrupt, millage rate to save county
        By Christopher Smith

        At the final Whitfield County Board of Education public hearing Thursday night to discuss increasing the system’s property tax rate almost 34 percent, Emitt Tate had a grim prediction.
        “So far 73 school systems in the state have gone bankrupt, Superintendent Danny Hayes said.”


        • Mr. Banks is exaggerating. There are a lot of school systems in financial trouble, many having to meet budget deficits and some having used up their reserve funds. I can’t find any articles saying a school system has filed for bankruptcy.

          • mountainpass says:

            Sounds like he’s lying…

            Found this though:

            [“This is really a crisis here, probably unlike anything schools have faced since the ’30s,” said David Sjoquist, an economics professor at Georgia State University and an expert on state finances.

            Five small districts began the current fiscal year with no money. They had used all of their reserves by the time the last year ended, leaving them broke except for what they could borrow.]

          • saltycracker says:

            Maybe Chris Smith at the Dalton Citizen can help, he wrote the piece or the Whitfield co. school super that made the claim.

            There are growing stresses on public education finances and charter schools will not be enough relief. We have to change that business to and not think running away to charters gets the issues off the radar.

            The counties have to budget around 10% of salaries for pension programs and employees contribute another 6%, I believe. The pool of money is also forecasted to earn 7.5% every year, guaranteed. (sidebar: Can we get some of that action ?) Wouldn’t charters reducing participants strain the early out w/ COLA ponzi program ?

            There are so many strains on the public school systems to ask where is the legislation on to change some of the requirements as we increase the educational options like charter schools ? Or are we deducting the impact of all of them from the charter program support ?

            • Calypso says:

              My opinion is that this charter amendment is the legislators’ sole answer to improving public education in the state. If it passes that will be the last we can expect to hear from them again, other than to use the passage of the charter amendment as an example of their support for public education if they are pressed on the issue again.

  4. Noway says:

    Since Charlie has said these morning reads count as open posts, here goes: The Ryder Cup finish yesterday was the most significant golf even in the last umpteen decades, even surpassing Nicklaus’
    1986 Masters win at 46, IMHO. The Europeans came from a 10-4 deficit to win 14.5 to 13.5. Every star had to be aligned, every four-leaf clover had to be found, every rabbit’s foot had to be in their pocket and every rainbow ended at that proverbial pot of gold for Europe. I was riveted both Saturday and Sunday! It was one for the ages. The US came back from a similar deficit in 1999 at Brookline but that was on US soil. Europe should have never had a chance. I’ll put it up there with any sporting event in my lifetime. I hope a few of you saw it!

  5. Andre says:

    Keeping with the discussion on education, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article Monday morning that said while six of the top performing high schools in Georgia are located in north Fulton County, there still exists an ever-increasing achievement gap between north and south in Fulton County.

    I am a product of the Fulton County School System. I am also in a unique position to talk about the deficit in achievement between north and south Fulton schools. I went to both.

    In 1988, my mother bought a condo in Sandy Springs to be closer to work. The next year, I started kindergarten at Woodland Elementary. In 1996, my mother took early retirement from BellSouth (they were downsizing at the time), and since she’s always liked living in a house, we moved back to our house in College Park. I attended McNair Middle School for two years, then graduated from Creekside High School in 2002.

    The AJC article says, “The average [SAT] score for the 11 north Fulton high schools was 1613 out of a possible 2400. That was 362 points higher than the average of 1251 scored by the five high schools in the less-affluent south end of the county — Banneker, Creekside, Langston Hughes, TriCities and Westlake.”

    But I know, from personal experience, that students attending schools in north Fulton are not smarter than students attending schools in south Fulton.

    In 2001, the Creekside High School Academic Bowl team went to the county tournament and beat Riverwood, North Springs, Banneker, TriCities and Westlake. Creekside lost a close match to Roswell. And that was a great improvement considering that the prior year, Creekside lost every match in Fulton County’s Academic Bowl tournament.

    So what’s the problem? Why is there an achievement gap? More importantly, why does the gap keep growing?

    I’ve spent years, racking my brain over those two questions. Still, I have no answers. Maybe a fresh set of minds can answer why north and south Fulton schools are separated by academic achievement.

    • Harry says:

      The academic definition of “success” is based on outdated measures. Schools and administrators are fighting the last war. They don’t understand that education is a lifetime path, and means little when taken in isolation. The ed system needs to build on individual needs and strengths rather than everyone fitting into one size suit. We should stop thinking that a university educated bureaucrat or Wall St. banker has more worth to society than a high school graduate housewife or nurse assistant. Fiat paper money should not equal success, but unfortunately the vested establishment is squeezing the working middle class with more and more propaganda and controls, resulting in a perception that only by conforming to one size fits all can one become a “success” and have a good life. This cannot stand.

    • wicker says:

      Mitt Romney was right. It is culture. Are you a Star Trek nerd like me? In TNG, there was the issue of Thomas Riker. There was a transporter accident, resulting in two identical copies of Will Riker being made; not only biologically identical, but even the same memories. They named the “copy” Thomas to distinguish between the two. Due to circumstances entirely beyond the control of both men, Will Riker went on to a distinguished Starfleet career and wound up captain of a ship and married the girl of his dreams, where Thomas Riker became a terrorist who was given a life sentence in an alien prison.

      So, in North Fulton, you have a prevailing culture that respects and promotes academic competition and excellence. In South Fulton, you do not. You can put Will Riker in South Fulton (and with the average South Fulton family), Thomas Riker in North Fulton with the typical North Fulton family, and Thomas Riker will outperform Will Riker academically 10 times out of 10.

      Which takes us back to the charter movement. The (seldom spoken) goal is to take Will Rikers out of schools where most students/parents don’t value academic achievement and competition, and putting them into schools that do. This is against the interests of both the public education lobby, who wants to use low achievement as a reason to justify open-ended funding increases (meaning salaries and more jobs for teachers and administrators), and of the parents and community leaders, who, like you, know that there is no significant difference in the intelligence of the two groups and wishes to maintain the cultural advantage, in order to keep the Will Rikers from South Fulton from competing with the Thomas Rikers from North Fulton for the one spot at Georgia Tech (or UGA or Emory).

      I gotta tell you, the suburban opposition to this charter amendment is really galling. They oppose A) increased funding to public schools that the public education lobby wants to try to compensate for the cultural problems, B) charter schools to help kids escape bad situations caused by cultural problems that they do not contribute to and cannot solve, and C) affirmative action programs to help those hindered by poor cultural situations compete with those who weren’t. They’re telling the Will Rikers to go take a hike and drop dead. They are only concerned with maximizing their own kids’ futures with no concerns about the larger/common interest, and this is despite their kids doing fine academically and not even needing the game to be rigged in their favor in the first place. Fortunately, it looks like a coalition of legitimate conservatives and minority voters will overpower the “we will step on your kids to benefit mine” types and the public education advocates on this charter vote.

      • Andre says:

        I’m not a “Trekkie,” but I understand the point you’re making.

        It’s a question of nature versus nurture, and I subscribe to the latter.

        No amount of money, no government program is going to correct a culture where respecting and promoting academic competition and excellence is akin to “acting white.”

        It’s like comedian Chris Rock said, “If you’re black, you get more respect coming out of jail than you do coming out of college.”

        It takes years to ingrain that kind of thinking into the collective minds of one culture. And it’ll take years to renew those same minds into thinking that achieving and succeeding is not “acting white” or a “betrayal of your race.”

        In the mean time though, we still have students out there that want to achieve and succeed in spite of what others say. And, wicker, you are right. Charter schools help kids escape bad situations caused by cultural problems that they do not contribute to and cannot solve.

        We want to help these kids, and their parents who assume an active role in their child’s educational career, overcome a culture that suggests at every turn that it’s okay to fail; that it’s okay to have ten kids by nine different women; that the only way to succeed is by either rapping or running.

        Why do we want to help these kids?

        Because they can help nurture the next generation and gradually change those cultural problems that we all talk about.

        • wicker says:

          I lean to the paleoconservative side on certain issues (which explains my support of Ron Paul) so I believe in nature and nurture. I think that there is something to the Charles Murray/William Herrnstein theory that people with higher IQs will make an effort to provide their kids with better circumstances and more opportunity. Charter schools will give higher IQ parents (again according to “The Bell Curve” Theory of Murray and Herrnstein) stuck in bad surroundings a chance to exit those surroundings, a practice that refers to as “skimming.”

  6. SallyForth says:

    SOS to analogkid! Please tell us how to fix this thing so we get notified when somebody responds to something we post. I hope nobody thinks I’m impolite when I don’t respond, but I presently have no way of knowing. Can you plez help me, analogkid? (or anybody else who knows how to do this!)

      • SallyForth says:

        I’m not sure – I read about it on WordPress, but they say it has to be a plug-in, a function in the website by the administrator, or something that was way over my pay grade. I see how some of you guys seem to stay on top of threads, wanted to learn how you do that.

        • SallyForth says:

          It said we have to click the button on our individual tools/admin page to receive notifications, but there’s no button on my page. I figured if our P/P webmaster(s) had ever put that in the website, analogkid could tell us how to get to it.

          • Calypso says:

            They took away our ability to Modify/Delete yet you think they will implement something so advanced as this notification feature?

            Charlie wants us folks to earn the privilege of commenting here by making us work for it. Before Charlie was PP’s head honcho, he had to comment 14 miles uphill both ways every day, just to be heard as Icarus on this site. He doesn’t want us to have it too easy. Charlie is also the Marquis de Sade of moderators/administrators for political blogs.

            • Scott65 says:

              Plug-ins are installed at the pleasure of the web-admin…and as a note on plug-ins…they can sometimes really screw with the rest of your website (compatibility (version) issues, conflicting software, the possibilities are endless). Also, since PP is not a democracy (or socialist…lol), we can ask and if “he who pays the bill” or is at least responsible for it, will to add a “modify/delete”, or “auto-reply”. I for one would like those options, but I know I would spend way more time here than I probably should (auto-reply option).

                • SallyForth says:

                  Thanks, Scott and analogkid – I sorta thought it might turn out like this, but just had to ask (hoping that it was here somewhere and I was just too dumb to find it). I still can’t figure how some folks seem to respond so quickly – maybe they have their tinfoil antennae up? 🙂

                  Calypso, ‘guess we’ll keep doing the 14 miles uphill both ways to post a comment and consider ourselves lucky it’s not in the snow….

                  • analogkid says:

                    I still can’t figure how some folks seem to respond so quickly

                    I suspect it requires tapping “refresh” every 10 seconds until someone replies (although not having a day job helps also).

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